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House of Blues, Hollywood, CA; 10/03/01

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Despite a series of screw-ups that almost left Rough Edge photographer John DeRuvo standing outside without a ticket (hey, I wasn't going to miss Motorhead) this evening in Hollywood turned out to be a powerhouse of legendary classic metal and some great new fresh bands.

First up was Fireball Ministry, a band whose riff-laden rock and charismatic stage performance immediately transformed the audience into fans. Fireball Ministry's sound is like a cross between Judas Priest and Molly Hatchet but with a perhaps more modern incendiary twist. I was still fuming about the above-mentioned screw-ups but Fireball Ministry took my mind off the problems and put it squarely back on the rock'n'roll. This is a great band! I look forward to hearing more from them in the future. For more information, check out  

Drunk With Power was up next and it was obvious they were in trouble when, after taking the stage with an angry, stomping, Biohazard-like rage, the band screamed out in unison, "Fuck the place up!" They were met with blank stares of an audience who are bored with being hit with a sledgehammer. Drunk with Power has mastered the rage aspect of their brutal rock, but it's strange how dull an act as intense as Drunk with Power can be because their sound is so single-minded. These guys would be better off opening for Slipknot, another band whose focus is on fury rather than originality. I'll give this to them, however: They are tremendously talented musicians. Drunk With Power is tight as hell.

Soil took the stage next and they were a happy cross between the arena metal of Fireball Ministry and the N.Y.-style hardcore of Drunk With Power. Soil manages to combine an extreme sound with surprisingly melodic songwriting. The band's performance was energetic and sharp and the audience was glad to see them after the brutal drubbing given them by the previous band. Soil's new album, "SCARS," is now available. For more information, please visit 

Finally, just before 11:30 PM, the mighty Motorhead took the stage. I've said it before on these pages and I'm pleased to say it again: Motorhead is the greatest living heavy metal band. "What time is it?" Lemmy asked a screaming, fist-pumping audience. "It's ass-kickin' time!" Motorhead then raged into the title track from their latest CD, "We Are Motorhead" and held the audience tightly in their grip until the final song of the set.

Lemmy was in great shape, his voice sounded good and his bas fretwork was as powerful as usual. Phil Campbell was a phenomenon on the guitar; this guy is like a whole band wrapped up into one musician. And drummer Mikkey Dee - well, what can one say about Mikkey Dee. Lemmy has called him the greatest drummer in the world and, watching this guy pound the skins, one would find it difficult to argue. Tireless is too mild a word to use to describe him. "Wild" is a much better one.

The band played lots of their classic material and lots of more recent stuff as well. "Civil War" seemed to be a favorite as were the classics "Killed By Death," "No Class," "Orgasmatron" and "Metropolis." "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." was dedicated to the late Joey Ramone and to the people in New York. "Ace of Spades" was the first song of the terrific encore and everyone went home satisfied.

One of the things I love above Motorhead: Whereas most bands often tell their crew to turn up the volume early in the show, Motorhead does it throughout. Surprisingly, in Motorhead's case, the music only sounded better the louder it got. I don't know if the resultant distortion just fits well with the Motorhead sound or if "Louder Than Every One Else" truly is better, but I can't wait to see this band perform again. 

For more information, please visit  

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.